Comments on our Holland America cruise: Noordam Cruise Review by may2048
Overall Member Rating
Comments on our Holland America cruise
Embarkation: Athens (Piraeus)
On Service: Could only class as average. The cabin and floor staff are Indonesian - nothing racist here, but sometimes requests get lost in translation. ie they never got the room service right [ which they promote you to use] tea & milk - no milk! On reqest for milk, 2 glasses arrive 20 mins later! Cereal for 2 with 1 bowl, or toast for 2 with 1 plate!
They are programmed to be very polite and friendly, but 2nd requests for a problem were on some occasions met with surliness. ie they lost our bottle of wine and said "there was not much in it anyway!"
On Saving Your $: We bought wine and mineral water ashore for our cabin, there was no problem bringing on board; why should there be! Make sure you bring a corkscrew as Euro wine is still corked.
The "Hotel Service charge " as they call it @ US$11.50 per person per day More is charged to your room account progressively during the cruise - this is on top of the 15% added to all drink purchases. This $11.50 is deemed to be a 'pooled' gratuity for all staff. Well my definiion of a gratuity is an amount I choose to give to award good service. You can vary this amount by the following:-
Go to the ships office 2 nights before disembarkation and explain you wish to vary the gratuity charge to $X per day - they will ask your reasons for their records - fair enough,but they really can't force this payement on you. The following 'last' night they will deliver your final shipboard account and you can check if the adjustment has been credited.
On Laundry: There being no self laundry, its wash in your basin or the laundry service; $20 for a 'sleeping bag size' load. If you have a veranda purchase a suction cap with hook [about 3" or 7 mm diameter] and about 3 metres cord with pegs. Fix a line from your window out to the rail! The laundry service use industrial size dryers for all the ships laundry and yours - so beware of items coming back shrunk.
On Disembarkation: They ask that all cases are put outside the cabin night before as they are offloaded during the night. We disembarked to the exit/baggage hall ashore next morning to find our luggage locks had been cut off and our cases rifled through. Fortunately no valubles were there to take!
I would recommend you refuse this request and take you own cases off in the morning if you are capable - bear in mind depending on which deck you exit that may mean negotiating some stairs.
We enjoyed our cruise and the fabulous Meditteranean ports in ideal Autumn weather - I hope my tips add to your enjoyment. Less